Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do We Really Need Web 2.0 in Subject Guides?

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of December 16, 2010 entitled Death of Delicious Social Bookmarking Site?

In that post, I mentioned that many libraries have turned to social media tools to develop lists of recommended resources and create research guides.

The most recent issue of the journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice features the article Letting Students Take the Lead: A User-Centred Approach to Evaluating Subject Guides authored by a number of University of British Columbia librarians:
"What do students need and want from library subject guides? Options such as Web 2.0 enhancement are now available to librarians creating subject-specific web pages. Librarians may be eager to implement these new tools, but are such add-ons a priority for students? This paper aims to start a dialogue on this issue by presenting the findings of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library’s Subject Guides Working Group (SGWG), which was tasked with assessing current library subject guides in order to make recommendations for the update and future development of UBC Library subject guides (...)"

"Respondents to the student questionnaire indicated that a simple and clean layout was of primary importance. Students also desired succinct annotations to resources and limited page scrolling. Meanwhile, few students identified Web 2.0 features such as rating systems and discussion forums as being important for their needs (...)"

"For the SGWG these findings called into question the necessity of Web 2.0 technologies within subject guide pages and highlighted the need for further research on the topic of subject guide usability and effectiveness."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:27 pm


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